I have been travelling extensively over the past couple of days, mostly by road. At one point, I was enroute on the road, from about 12.00 am - 5.00 am. I slept most of the way and when I wasn't hitting my head on the glass, I stared out at the night as it swept by.
My one thought was gratitude that I could make the trip in safety. There is probably no how I would travel in the middle of the night within Nigeria and not fear for my life. Armed bandits, a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere with no roadside assistance are just a few of the issues running through one's mind. Fortunately, I went through with no issues.
Anytime, I enjoy the benefit of a service, whether paid or unpaid, I cannot help but compare to my own country. So many things here are interconnected. The economies grow in the west because there is an efficient transfer of goods and services.
Take transportation for example. There are opportunities at all levels for all income opportunities. If you wish to travel, you can walk, ride a bike, drive yourself, take the bus, take the train or fly. And while these services all co-exist, there is no apparent threat of eradication by a new service coming into play.
Someone told me that one reason the train system for goods in Nigeria was not working was because the northerners who tend to transport lots of goods and service wanted their trucking systems to flourish so they have systematically tried to sabotage the rail system. Whether or not this is true, I can still believe it. There have been so many instances where some new business idea has been sabotaged by the pre-existent --and most times not as efficient-- system because they feared a loss of business. What they do not understand is that we can all function because not all customers will like the same things. As much as cell phones have become part of our lives, there are those who don't use it or if they do, they use only the most basic function and so whether or not the phone can change shape or connect with outer space is none of their concern.
Maybe, one day, in my country, we will learn that we can and should work together.
Until then, we live on hope. And I stare out at the silent, calm, passing night.